This page is a Hot Air Balloon News item ...

Australia Day celebrated with a parade of
18 Hot Air Balloons taking off at around dawn near Sydney

Australian Prime Minister Nathan Rees spoke to crowds gathered at Sydney's Parramatta Park to watch an early-morning launch of 18 Hot Air Balloons. This took place as part of a day-long event to celebrate Australia's National Day.

Australia Day stretches back to 26 January 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip took ‘formal possession’ of the Colony of New South Wales. Phillip became Governor of that colony, founded on the harsh grounds at Port Jackson. Australian history has been evolving ever since. In 1838 celebrations took place marking the 50th anniversary of Philip's landing. That was the start of the "Australia Day" public holiday in New South Wales. Australia Day was also adopted in Victoria in 1931. In 1935 the Australian Commonwealth Government and all States and Territories (except NSW) adopted "Australia Day" as the official title for the National Day. Since 1946 all States and Territories celebrate Australia Day on 26th January. It is estimated that around 7.5 million people attend Australia Day ceremonies nationally.

ABC News reported this colourful start to Australia Day 2009 at around 7:50am Australian time.

Date of this News Page: 26 January 2009.
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